Total Business Magazine

How to Turn Haters into Paying Customers

In a world where competitors are just a click away from you, customer loyalty is key.

With more information about businesses available than ever before online, research shows customers are increasingly looking for companies that prove themselves committed to delivering good quality customer experiences as well as excellent products or services.

Below Samuel Leach, CEO and founder of Samuel and Co Trading, explains that while negative reviews, comments or reactions to your business have the potential to cause damage, if managed effectively, you will be able to transform the dissatisfied into paying customers.

Make your enemy your customer

Being defensive in reaction to negative feedback will only serve to alienate the customer as well as anyone else coming across the negative comment.  Consequently, the best approach is to demonstrate honesty and authenticity. You need to react in a way that shows you respect the person’s views, have concern for their experience, and want to do better.

Moreover, having a negative review in public that hasn’t been acknowledged reflects badly on companies and on brands, but if people can see the problem is being addressed, they will be more likely to trust your business. By showing a clear intent to do better and resolve the situation and by responding quickly and directly, you can easily turn this ‘enemy’ into an advocate of your business. People will be impressed by your honesty, transparency and willingness to help, and will be likely to speak favourably about your company to others, as well as to become or continue being a paying customer themselves.

Offer a solution

Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. By offering a solution to the problem, you are showing how you will do better in future, whether that’s something you can offer the negative commentator to change their mind, or a broader change in your product or service. Where you can, try to add a personal touch so the complainant feels valued. Make sure you provide a time-frame so you don’t add to their frustration by missing unrealistic deadlines.

Ensure you check the solution has resolved the situation- otherwise this can lead to further negative backlash and does not solve the problem.

Be brave

Be persistent in your dealings with negative feedback until you get the result you want, and don’t let negative reactions grind you down. Remind yourself that every bad review or negative comment can be viewed as a good way to help you identify your blind spots and find out what you’re doing wrong. Consequently, you should use negativity as a motivator to do better.

You should also keep track of all feedback so that you can recognize and identify significant patterns in customer feedback and react accordingly. A consistent feedback result might mean you may need to adjust your business model or make a major change, and in this way it would not pay to ignore negative reviews and hope the situation resolves itself.


Be as open as you can about your business, what you’re trying to do, and how. Customers value honesty and feeling connected to a genuine company or person, so if you can be as transparent as possible about your business model, your aims, and any problems you are encountering, people are more likely to feel positively about your company. Public apologies or admissions of failure when you get things wrong aren’t as damaging as you may fear, so don’t be afraid to admit to your weaknesses when the time is right. Customers will be impressed by your honesty.

If you are also taking the time to communicate effectively about as much of what you stand for and what you’re doing as you can, customers will better understand your product or service and be less likely to feel they have been mis-sold a product or service or deceived in any way.

By employing these strategies, you can easily transform controversy into sales. Remember that nobody’s customer experience can be perfect all of the time, and that anyone strongly angry about your company displays a passion that, with the right tactics, can be converted into advocacy.

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